Gluten Free Diet Helps Seizures

“Gluten-free diet (GFD) is effective in the management of epilepsy in 53% of cases, either reducing seizure frequency, enabling reduced doses of antiepileptic drugs or even stopping antiepileptic drugs.” (1)

Epilepsy occurs almost twice as much in patients with celiac disease and those with epilepsy are twice as likely to have celiac disease. In addition to these stats, there are those whom are non celiac gluten sensitive, where the brain is more often to be ill-affected than the gut. Neurological conditions associated with gluten or wheat sensitivity include ataxia, headaches, multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy and epilepsy.

What goes on in the gut

reflects in the rest of the body

No one has the enzymes to break down gluten, and after the loss of oral tolerance, the body responds in various ways.

In those suffering from epilepsy, after a strict gluten free diet is followed, there are clearly improvements in seizure control but no apparent reduction in calcification in the brain. This is thought to be in part due to a folate deficiency. Celiac disease means there are issues absorbing nutrient because the small intestine looses its absorption power. Folate is just one nutrient among numerous others that a person suffering with gluten intolerance may be lacking. Nutrient status is often restored after a gluten free diet is adhered, the gut is healed and sometimes supplements are given. Long term damage will take longer, if at all possible, to heal.

The transglutaminase isoenzyme 6 (TG6) is a potential marker for gluten related brain injury. This is one of 24 markers found on the Cyrex Array3x lab test. Dr. Laura M. Brown, a naturopathic doctor in Guelph, is an experienced practitioner in Cyrex Array interpretation and can order this test on your behalf.

(1) Julian, T., Hadjivassiliou, M., & Zis, P. (2019). Gluten sensitivity and epilepsy: a systematic review. Journal of neurology266(7), 1557–1565. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-018-9025-2

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